Monthly Archives: March 2011

  • Inspection Sticker Fraud Committed in Two U.S. States

    Recently, vehicle inspection stickers were illegally sold in two separate areas of the country. One man, a former state trooper in Brentwood, New Hampshire, is facing jail time for taking bribes and offering the stickers to motorists owning salvaged vehicles. Another individual, a Jiffy Lube employee in southeast Austin, Texas, may have been helping customers with failing vehicles pass state inspections by giving them stickers.

    Forty-year-old Fred Stamatatos has been offered a plea deal by New Hampshire state prosecutors for his felony bribe charge and nine misdemeanors for giving inspection stickers to Aldaberto Medina, 39, of Manchester, New Hampshire. None of Medina's vehicles had received the required state vehicle inspections, according to The Union Leader.

    Twenty-five-year-old Brandon Trujilo was selling Texas state inspection stickers to those customers whose cars were unable to pass. According to officials, it appears that Trujilo had tested a passable vehicle in order to get around the state's testing equiptment. His antics were uncovered when an agent visited the Jiffy Lube at which he worked, KVUE news source reported.

    Allegedly, sticker fraud has become a big business, as many motorists are unable to afford vehicle repairs or simply refuse to have the necessary problems fixed.

  • Dangerous Toxins Found in Food Packaging

    BPA, or bisphenol A, and a phthalate that is called DEHP, are found in plastic wrappers, cans and storage tubs and are transmitted into food via packaging.

    According to Discovery News, these chemicals can lead to developmental and reproductive problems, cancer, heart disease and brain disease because they disrupt the hormonal systems in both people and animals. Canned food appears to have the highest levels of BPA, the source reported.

    However, when people avoided these plastics and packaging and ate primarily fresh for only three days, the levels of these toxins within their bodies dropped by more than 50 percent.

    "What this says is that food packaging is really the major source of exposure to BPA and DEHP," said Ruthann Rudel, a toxicologist at the Silent Spring Institute, a research and advocacy group, to the source.

    "The good news is that we provide some evidence that people can make everyday decisions about their kitchens and their diets if they want to reduce exposure to these compounds," he added. 

  • Nanobrick Food Packaging Coating Will Keep Food Fresher, Longer

    Scientists recently unveiled a new coating that may help keep air out of food packaging. The coating is a thin film of nanoscale bits of clay, the same that is used to make clay. The clay is mixed with polymer and, when viewed with a microscope, looks like bricks and mortar, the website Gizmodo reported. The nanobrick film would help keep sodas more bubbly, potato chips more crispy and military rations more edible, according to the source.

    Jamie Grunlan, the nanobrick film developer, revealed the design at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California, over the weekend, claiming it to be "the most oxygen-impermeable film in existence."

    "Others have added clay to polymer to reduce [gas] permeability, but they are thousands of times more permeable than our film," Grunlan told the website Food Production Daily. "We have the most organized structure ... which is the source of this exceptional barrier."

    In addition to protecting food products, the nanobrick film could also be used to help create flexible electronics, tires and sporting goods as well as make products such as basketballs, footballs and soccerballs stay inflated longer than their non-nanobrick counterparts, the source reported.

  • Supreme Court Split on Challenge Regarding Generic Drug Labels

    The Supreme Court is split on whether it should allow generic drug manufacturers to be sued in for allegations of inadequately labeling their medications. Manufacturers have sought protection from two liability lawsuits in which consumers are claiming they developed neurological disorders after taking the heartburn medication Reglan, according to the website AutomatedTrader.

    According to Seattle PI, the federal law mandates that generic drugs have the same labeling as their brand name counterparts.

    "I don't see how you can hold them liable, so long as they continued to give the warnings that they had to give," Justice Antonin Scalia said in regards to the generic drug manufacturers.

    In response, however, Justice Sonia Sotomayor debated whether or not it seemed likely that Congress would establish a market in which consumers were able to sue only name-brand products. She said, if that were the case, why would consumers ever take a generic medication?

    "When a company doesn't make appropriate disclosures to the FDA, even if people are hurt by that, even if it causes people to be injured and states might otherwise want to compensate them for them, those disclosure obligations are up to the FDA with its discretion to enforce," said lawyer Jay P. Lefkowitz, Seattle PI reported.

  • Flying Dog Brewery Sues Michigan Liquor Control for Label Rejection

    Flying Dog Brewery, a Maryland-based beermaker, is accusing the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for rejecting one of its beer bottle labels. The brewery claims that the agency allegedly is censoring its freedom of speech by rejecting the labels, which were designed for the brand's 20th Anniversary India Pale Ale, and forbidding its sale or advertisement within the state.

    The Belgian IPA is named "Raging B----," and the commission claims this name is "detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the general public," as stated in the lawsuit.

    "Regrettably, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and its members have taken it upon themselves to control not merely alcoholic beverages, but speech as well," the brewery wrote in the lawsuit filed Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune.

    "Acting as a censorial board, defendants wield state authority to impose their personal tastes as a prior restraint against core First Amendment expression that happens to be placed on beer labels," it added.

    According to the director of the commission's licensing division, Sharon Martin, the panel is able to lawfully turn down those beer labels that "deemed to promote violence, racism, sexism, intemperance or intoxication," the source reported.

  • Pfizer Recalls Two Medications After Accidental Label Switch

    Fearing a label switch, Pfizer has recalled an antidepressant and a medication used to shrink the prostate.

    The drugs include citalopram, which is used to treat depression, and finasteride, which can treat benign prostratic hyperplasia, are in the generic forms. According to the website MedPage Today, bottles that have been labeled as citalopram Lot number FI0510058-A may contain finasteride. Incorrect labels were placed on the bottles by a third-party manufacturer, the source reported.

    Any patient prescribed either medication is advised to return the drugs to the pharmacy in which they purchased them, as those who consume the wrong prescription will be at risk for adverse effects.

    "Women who are, or may become pregnant, should not take or handle finasteride due to the possible risk of ... abnormalities to the external genitalia of a developing male fetus," the company said in a statement, according to the source.

    Additionally, those patients who discontinue their use of citalopram without being advised by a doctor are at risk for worsened depression or withdrawal symptoms. 

  • Dubai Builds Hotel to Pay Homage to QR Codes

    Quick response codes are quickly becoming one of the trendiest ways for brands and businesses to uniquely market themselves. Aside from including them in subway stations and on other forms of public transportation, companies have begun to market with the codes in out-of-the box ways.

    For example, in Dubai, an entire hotel is being created out of QR codes by the firm project code. As of yet, it is unclear whether or not the hotel will actually be scannable, leading smartphone users to a landing page. For now, it seems as if the hotel will simply pay homage to the codes, according to a blog post on the website The Next Web.

    Project code isn't the only company to use QR codes in new ways. Ralph Lauren recently rolled out a QR code initiative, claiming to be the first luxury brand in the U.S. to link up the codes with m-commerce. Consumers are able to scan the codes from a variety of locations, including magazine ads and window displays, in order to access the brand's mobile website.

    "[This initiative] shows that the brand has really considered how QR codes can benefit both them and the consumer," Lauren Fisher reported for ths source.

    "R[alph Lauren] thought about the content at the end of the QR code, instead of just how it can be used," she added.

  • Johnson and Johnson Issue Recall After Packaging Raises Concerns

    Johnson and Johnson's Ethicon brand has issued a recall on a thousands of medical drainage products. The company is concerned about the safety of the products, saying the sterile barrier in the product packaging was compromised. Ethicon makes sutures and other surgical products.

    The recall includes lots of Blake silicone drains, Blake silicone drain kits, Blake cardio connectors, J-Vac reservoirs and J-Vac drain adapters distributed between May 10, 2010[,] and February 28, 2011, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Ethicon is recommending a discontinuation of all products affected by the recall. However, it does note that the recall is limited to the names, codes and lot numbers of those products that are listed on its website.

    According to Packaging Digest, consumers should return those products impacted by the recall via the enclosed shipping label included with the products' packaging. Those consumers who do make a return will be issued a new product as supply allows for such demand to be met.

  • Home Depot Launches QR Code Marketing Initiative

    Home Depot has launched a quick response code initiative, enabling consumers to receive product information, reviews and how-to guides from the retailer. The store has teamed up with Scanbuy, a mobile barcode platform developer, to launch the marketing campaign that will be featured in its print catalogs and on in-store displays.

    "The main objective … is to further enhance the customer shopping experience by offering additional product and project know-how and increase customer conversion," said Tom Sweeney, senior director of online strategy at Homedepot.com, to Direct Marketing News.

    "By integrating our marketing message in an interactive manner, we will gain an understanding of what type of content drives the customer to interact with our brand both inside and outside the store," he added.

    According to Sweeney, the codes will be featured on shelf items. When scanned by a consumer, they will see a video on ways to use that product, information from the supplier, usage guidelines, safety instructions or any other information that Home Depot chooses to associate with the product. They will also have the ability to make purchases after scanning the QR code, whether in-store or at home.

  • One Cool Job: Working as an In-House Beer Label Artist

    Missouri-based brewery, Boulevard Brewing Co., is different from other beer companies. Instead of outsourcing its beer label designs, Boulevard has its own in-house graphic designer, Payton Kelly, who has designed all of the company's labels during the course of its 21-year history.

    When he first started designing for Boulevard, Kelly was working on a freelance basis. However, as soon as funding allowed, he was hired as a full-time artist and creative director for the brewery. Now, in addition to designing labels, Kelly also creates all of the brewery's signage and promotional materials. According to president John McDonald, he hired Kelly because he wanted the look and feel of all labels to be consistent, The State Journal-Register reported.

    "With an agency, they just show you stuff," McDonald said to the source. "I thought, 'What a great idea to have an artist inside the brewery.'"

    When designing labels, Kelly uses traditional techniques as a way to convey the feel of the hometown brewery. The only thing that has changed in his approach is the use of digital image manipulation. Instead of pasting images on top of one another and coloring them in with litho crayons and Sharpies, Kelly now uses computer programming designed for artists.

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Material Descriptions

Materials

BIOSTONE

One of our eco-friendly options that is actually made of stone—no trees are used. This material should not laminated.

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

CAST GLOSS

This is another material specially designed for the wine industry. It is paper-based with a high-gloss white finish. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CHROME (SILVER) BOPP

This material has the same water and oil-resistant properties as our White BOPP and Clear BOPP, but has the "mirror-like" look of shiny chrome.

CLASSIC CREST

Best suited for wine labels, this is a white paper stock with a dull matte finish. It is not suitable for lamination and is therefore not waterproof. Same adhesive and liner as Estate #9.

CLEAR BOPP

This is the clear version of the Polypropylene (BOPP) material. It has the same waterproof qualities as the White BOPP. It provides more of a "no label" look and is also suitable for window stickers (where reverse printing of the image allows the label to be applied to the inside of a glass window and be viewed from the outside).

ESTATE #9

This is a great option for wine labels, gourmet foods or applications where a textured finish is desired. Being a paper stock, it's not as water-resistant or durable as BOPP, but its light cream color and textured feel add a touch of the "unusual" to the right product. It features a special adhesive (removable in 100+ degree hot water) and a stronger liner particularly suited to machine application. Not suitable for lamination.

GOLD POLYESTER (METALIZED)

This material will make your labels shine! Suitable for most labeling applications, it has a strong adhesive backing and must be laminated. Choose glossy laminate to make your label designs pop, or matte for a unique, elegant look.

KRAFT (RECYCLED)

This is a recycled 100% post consumer waste material. It is a 55# paper material that is a wonderful option if an “earthy” appearance is desired. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water. It is not suitable for lamination; therefore, it is not water or oil resistant.

REMOVABLE WHITE BOPP

This material is the same as our standard BOPP, but has a special, "less aggressive" adhesive designed to allow the label to be removed or re-positioned after application. Depending on the surface it will be applied to, customer testing is strongly recommended. We can provide samples for this purpose.

SATIN CLOTH

Quite the unique material! Yes, it is woven satin acetate cloth. Think wine or spirit labels! This material will make your product packaging POP. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

SQUEEZABLE

A white, 3mil film that is better suited for squeezable applications. This material has proven to work well in a variety of applications, so you can be confident it will perform well for you.

VELLUM (RECYCLED)

A great “green” choice, this 60# vellum is 100% recycled with 100% post consumer waste material. Cannot be laminated. Is neither water nor oil-resistant. The stronger liner is well suited for machine application. Depending upon face, substrate, water temperature and dwell time, label may be removed in hot water.

WHITE BOPP

This is our most commonly used material and is suitable for most applications. It's a polypropylene material with a permanent adhesive. It is impervious to water and oils, and is particularly suitable for bath and body products, as well as food containers.

WHITE EARTHFIRST PLA

A more environmentally friendly alternative to White BOPP. The PLA stands for Polylactic Acid (a biopolymer made from corn rather than petrochemicals). Similar look and feel to BOPP and suitable for most applications, but should not be used directly on candle containers.

WHITE FLEXIBLE VINYL

This is our most substantial material. The vinyl is thicker than BOPP, and is most suitable for outdoor applications where greater strength and durability are needed, or where lengthy exposure to the elements is an issue.

WINDOW DECAL (CLEAR/ULTRA-REMOVABLE)

We offer this window decal option as an alternative to static cling. The face stock is clear with excellent clarity. The adhesive is an ultra-removable featuring excellent weatherability and UV resistance. It removes cleanly from a wide variety of substrates without staining or ghosting. Why worry about static clings staying on when you can have removable adhesive there to hold it in place?

Artwork Specifications

Laminates

High Gloss

High gloss is our most popular laminate. It is the least expensive option and provides protection for the label and a high gloss shiny finish.

Matte

The Matte Laminate provides your label with a dull, non-glossy finish. Some customers consider this achieves a more "natural" look.

Thermal Transfer

This is a gloss laminate that is designed to work with most over-printing thermal transfer printers. We do recommend you get samples first to test through your own printer before placing an order with this laminate.

UV Outdoor Gloss

As the name implies this is best used for labels that will be used outdoors. It has a high gloss finish with excellent UV resistance. It is best paired with our vinyl material for the most durable outdoor label.